Colwood man ‘sucker punched’ by owl while riding e-bike
VICTORIA -- A Colwood man says he is recovering after he was attacked by an owl while he was delivering newspapers Sunday morning.
William Polk, who goes by Bill, said he was riding his electric bike down Mount View Avenue when he was hit in the head.
“I looked to my left, then right, and then I looked really quickly left and then boom,” said Polk. “Sucker punched.”
He was travelling at about 30 km/h when he was hit and knocked unconscious by the owl. When Polk woke up, he says he was lying in the middle of Pickford Road.
“It was a very, very strange event. One in a million,” he said. “I’ve got hit pretty hard in football and I wasn’t knocked out.”
Avian experts tell CTV News Vancouver Island that owls are furiously protective.
Ann Nightingale, with Rocky Point Bird Observatory, said people do get hit by owls during this time of year because it is breeding season.
“It’s quite possible he was just in the wrong place at exactly the wrong time,” said Nightingale.
She believes the owl may have been going in for prey when Polk was hit. She says that owls are not fast flyers so she was surprised to hear it was able to hit a person on an e-bike.
“I think people do need to be aware that at this time of year breeding birds will protect and defend their nest when they are young,” said Nightingale.
A person living near Mount View Avenue and Pickford Road said an owl came to visit their home on Jan. 22.
“It was about two feet away from the house and looking in the window,” said Brian Whittaker.
He said he was surprised to hear that an owl would hit a person.
“They are such great hunters, I was quite surprised, and to have it to happen here,” said Whittaker.
Once Polk was feeling better, he tried to find the owl to see if it was hurt but couldn't find it.
“If he did that to me, what did I do to him?” said Polk.